When new trainees start out they enter what we call the “noob gains” stage. Basically their bodies are so untrained that virtually any kind of resistance training gives them amazing gains quickly.
However, after a few months things change and their bodies adapt.
All of a sudden their 100% curls and bench press training program isn’t giving them the sort of growth it once did. This is where a lot of guys tend to drop out – which is unfortunate because they could have continued to make solid gains if they just make some key changes to their program.
Check out the article below for 9 keys to sustainable muscle growth!
1 – Change Things Up
It might have taken you weeks, months or even years to find it – the perfect training style for you. Maybe you’ve been making great gains on it for awhile but you’ve noticed that things have started to slow down a bit.
Well, it might be time for you to change things up. You see, when you perform the same routine day in and day out for an extended period of time it eventually becomes ineffective. Your body gets used to the movements and finds efficient ways to perform them without having to break down and rebuild muscle tissue.
It would be great if we could just use a solid routine forever but unfortunately our bodies just don’t work that way.
So how do you change it?
Try mixing up the number of reps, the pace of the reps, weight, rest time or exercises. You should still be trying to progressively overload the muscles so you don’t be switching things up completely every time otherwise you won’t be able to do that effectively.
Once you see you are no longer benefiting from the new routine try switching things up again.
Even changing the way you perform your current routine – such as incorporating negative reps, supersets, dropsets, etc. – can shock the muscles into more growth.
2 – Let Your Muscles Recover
Ok so we just spent an entire point explaining the importance of mixing it up – but now we’re saying to give your muscles a break? Yes it might sound contradicting and yes maybe even stupid but allow us to explain.
You see, you don’t actually build muscle mass while you are in the gym – that’s when you BREAK DOWN muscle tissue. The growth occurs while your body rebuilds that muscle tissue after your workout and while you are sleeping – essentially when you are resting.
However, if you are constantly throwing new workouts at your body, mixing things up and taking the muscles to failure you will simply be burning yourself out. If the muscle doesn’t have enough time to recover your next workout will suffer and you just won’t grow.
Try not to stress a particular muscle more than 2-3 times a week, preferably no more than 2. In addition, every few months give yourself a full week off from the gym. If you can time it to line up with a vacation even better.
While you might think you are missing out on potential gains by taking a rest day or week – the reality is that you will make sure your body is able to handle long-term progress.
3 – Eat the Right Foods
We aren’t going to turn this into an entire article on nutrition – don’t worry.
Having said that, you can put in as much work in the gym as you want and give yourself plenty of time to recover – but if your nutrition sucks you won’t get anywhere. Now it’s different for everyone so there is no one single food you should eat for maximum gains.
However, you want to make sure you get plenty of protein (at least 1g per pound of bodyweight) along with healthy fats and complex carbs. These will fuel not only your workouts but also your recovery – providing your muscles with the nutrients they need to build larger, denser muscles.
Your post-workout nutrition in particular is where you want to make sure you are consuming fast-digesting protein like whey. This is when your muscles are desperate for fuel and whey will give your body exactly what it needs.
Additionally make sure you are eating clean throughout the day and try not to work out when you feel hungry – it will impact your strength negatively.
4 – Make Big Changes Every Once in Awhile
In addition to changing up the sets, reps, exercises and rest times you can also make big changes to your overall workout.
For example, after spending 6 weeks focused on hypertrophy you can then shift to a strength training routine for a few weeks. These types of shocks keep your muscles off-guard and constantly growing.
Your body doesn’t know what you will throw at it so it compensates by building larger muscles so it can de33al with whatever comes at it.
5 – Focus on Free-Weights
One of the huge advantages of free-weights over machines is that they force your body to recruit additional muscle groups in order to stabilize the weight. This allows for more muscles to get work which means better overall growth and more testosterone released.
Additionally these stabilizer muscles are generally what keep your joints, tendons and ligaments safe and strong – so if you strengthen them you will reduce the chance of injury down the road. A lot of people who focus on machine training tend to set themselves up for injury down the road due to having weaker support muscles.
Not to mention they don’t build nearly as much muscle in the first place. Having said that, feel free to throw in some machine work at the end of your workout to add some volume and isolate the targeted muscle.
6 – The Further You Go the Harder it Gets
Unfortunately the further you get with bodybuilding the harder it will be to build muscle.
This particularly sucks because building muscle is not exactly easy even during your first few years of training. A lot of people let that discourage them and ultimately they quit training.
However, you should welcome it as a badge of honor – if you build a great body you have accomplished something most guys will never do in their lives. Be thankful that this isn’t easy because if it was everyone would have a great body!
However, because most guys are terribly out of shape you will truly stand out!
7 – Maintain Solid Form
If you want to make it far in bodybuilding you will need to make sure you don’t get stuck with nasty injuries. After all, the multi-Olympia winner Dorian Yates saw his career come to an end due to a nasty bicep injury.
Take care of your joints, ligaments and tendons now and they will take care of you down the road. That means using solid form when you are lifting – focusing on hitting the targeted muscle without putting unnecessary stress on your joints.
It’s pointless to lift a heavy weight if you are just using momentum to throw the weight up so check your ego at the door and do things properly.
8 – Remember that Bodybuilding is a Lifestyle
If you plan on just going to the gym for 6 months until you are a shredded beast then quitting you will never make it far in bodybuilding. Having a great physique is a lifestyle that involves training, getting proper rest and eating clean foods.
Some people – usually very unaesthetic ones – tend to put bodybuilding down as a very superficial hobby. The truth is that bodybuilders are very healthy people generally due to their clean diets and muscular physiques.
You see, carrying more muscle and less fat is actually very good for your overall health. It increases your metabolism, reduces your chance of common injuries and even increases your life expectancy!
Anyone who tries to stop or discourage you from going to the gym doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Don’t let them bring you down – keep doing your thing and live a long, healthy, satisfying life!
9 – Take a Testosterone Booster that actually works
Some guys can eat all the steaks and potatoes. Train heavy every day of the week. But no matter how much they train they just can’t seem to add on noticeable amounts of muscle.
(PS. It was for those guys that we put together the complete guide to add on muscle fast. You can read it here. )
Well, that’s most likely because they’re missing the crucial element to building muscle – one in fact that is so important that you simply won’t get anywhere (literally) without it: Testosterone. It is the main male hormone and plays a crucial role in building muscle mass and shedding fat.
If your levels are low you will have a hard time building muscle mass and will likely be carrying extra body fat.
Now, unlike most other muscle building blogs, we here at BroScience keep it real with you. All those jacked up guys that claim to be “natural” most likely aren’t. They’re injecting themselves with synthetic steroid hormones in order to maximize their gains!
But nowadays most fitness guys are waking up and realising just how stupid taking steroids really is – they are dangerous and can yield some nasty side effects. Such as man-boobs, baldness and you can even become infertile! Quite the opposite of having high t-levels, right.
Besides, we live in a world where the supplement industry has already developed safe and natural testosterone boosters that actually work. You can find out what ingredients to look for in our guide here.
I know what you’re thinking. “Testosterone boosters? Really?”. And as a matter of fact we completely understand your concerns.
You see testosterone boosters have gotten a bad reputation over the years simply because a couple of companies put ineffective fillers in their supplement and marketed them as “legal steroids” to make more money of the consumers. Which of course they aren’t. It’s a natural supplement with natural ingredients.
BUT in recent years the game has changed and evolved. Supplement companies now have their hands on extremely effective test boosting ingredients.
But you have to be careful. Because some companies are still putting ineffective fillers in their supplement.
Which is exactly why we spent over two months researching all these different testosterone boosters and the ingredients found in them. Our research could save you hundreds of dollars. And for that reason we’re thinking whether we should start charging for it. Some big companies have even gotten in touch and asked us why we would give this kind of information away for free. They think we are exposing the industry.
But at least for now you can read it for free here: Read our report on testosterone boosters now.
Make sure you look for an all-natural one that is loaded with ingredients that are proven to help boost testosterone levels. That way the gains will be permanent and you won’t put yourself at risk!